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Reviewed 25 November 2014

I have just recently returned from a dive trip to Maya Palms Dive Resort in Mahahual, Mexico. I was at this dive destination almost a decade ago and remember certain things. The one thing I do not remember is how pristine, untouched, beautiful, and full of life this reef actually is. The water temps were consistently 87-89 degrees the entire week!! I was able to on film, Turtles, Lobster, Eel, Ray's, Sharks, and yes.......a MANATEE!!!!!! Not to mention the abundant marine life of tropical fish. Doug and Kathy Goergens have turned this stretch of private beach into YOUR home. I was catered to at every moment by the supreme staff.

Let me start by describing the diving: (as if I haven't already got you hooked)
We started the dive day at leisure with our first morning dive, a short 5 minute personal boat ride by the way, with no one else even close to barging in on my dive spot!! 45 minutes, an hour, 90 minutes.....you air is how long you stay!!! clear, warm, pristine waters and groove and spur reef that has more life than an aquarium!!! Climb in the boat, short ride back to shore, the staff takes care of everything!! I only touched my tanks to wear them in the water!! A light snack of natural and tropical fruit juice, fresh fruits, and great conversations!! The resort is host to numerous natural plants that Doug and Kathy will show you, explain to you, and give you, the food and nutrients that preserved Mayan life to this day!! (what is better than that). Then the second dive. Yet another 5 minute boat ride to a different part of the reef, still crawling with sea life!!! Did I mention the lobsters and lion fish that we were able to harvest!!! (If I didn't, they are more delicious when you catch them yourselves)! And let me say this; This was every dive and I got in about 15 on this trip!

The resort itself is an eco friendly resort that produces its own power and water. By the way, You can drink the water straight from the faucet and it too was refreshing and delicious. The pool is amazing, the food was amazing by any standard. (Prepared by Mayan Chef and Doug and Kathy, and the staff). I have to say, I am one of the pickiest people and my gracious hosts prepared everything to my personal pallet. I give props especially to the chocolate pudding, rice pudding, and the ham and cheese tortillas, just some of my favorites. Everything you need is here.

I can not wait to come back home to this destination. If I do not make it on the Winter trip, I will on the next summer trip for sure. I can not compare this place to any other as it does not compete. The service, the diving, the atmosphere, the entire package is worth every penny and the memories cannot be forgotten. I would like to take one more moment of your valuable time and personally thank Kathy and Doug for being the gracious hosts they are and for making me feel like this was my vacation HOME, the staff for the excellent job that did and the services they provided for me, and finally my new friends and dive buddies that I was able to have the pleasure to dive with become part of a family that can hopefully meet next year for a reunion!!

Words just simply cannot describe how enjoyable this trip was, thank you again Maya Palms!!!

Room tip: All of the rooms are excellent!!
Date of stay: August 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Brandon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2014

Maya Palms Resort is, by far, one of the most beautiful dive destinations I have ever encountered. This incredible jewel is nestled miles away from ANY other carribean resort. No city lights, no city noise, just your own personal private beachfront under beautiful blue skies or an incredibly moon-lit night!

This quaint, secure gated resort boasts several ammenities. Individual freestanding "duplex-style" villas house double queen beds, A/C, ample electric access, more than enough clothing storage for a family of 4 with a very warm & inviting decor. Surrounding the exterior is a variety of tropical foliage, flowers, & hedge-type privacy. This Eco-resort supplies all guests with crystal clear reverse osmosis water supply. Just steps away from any villa is the pool area. Super large deck area with lounge chairs and open covered areas equipped with several hammocks, tables, & chairs sporting an up-close beautiful view of the sea! Directly off the pool deck is the bar & dining room. Wall-to-wall ancient Mayan decor literally places you in the heart of this lost Mayan culture. 3 incredibly fresh meals are served daily. Every meal is meticulously planned & prepared around the suggestions & interests of each guest with emphasis on mouth watering flavor & beautiful presentation. Free Wi-Fi is also available!!

Now for the diving! Ahhh yes, the diving! This reef is INCREDIBLE!! Literally a 5-10 min ride from shore to drop. This reef is absolutely pristine & untouched by ANY other dive operations. 2-tank dives available daily with UNLIMITED shore diving. Beautiful coral & abundant marine life, including, LARGE sponge coral, rays, turtles, barracuda, lobster, nurse sharks, sea horses, lion fish, and MANATEES!! If you bring a spear with you, feel free to take all the lion fish you can. If enough are caught, they will prepare them for you & serve them fresh for lunch or dinner. Some of the best reef fish I have ever eaten!!

From the moment I arrived until the moment I left, I didn't have a care in the world. Without a doubt, the MOST relaxing & catered vacation ever. Owners, Doug & Catherine Goergens, went above & beyond EVERY day to assure that every single guest not only had everything they needed, but most impressively, made sure all of us felt welcome, secure, & just like family!

Special thanks to Ken & Mark for their seemingly endless dedication & hard work during my stay. This ENTIRE staff truly cares about your every moment spent with them. This was a week I will not soon forget & without a doubt, return again!!

THANK YOU!!!

Date of stay: August 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Todd91101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Maya Palms is an absolute gem in Southeastern Mexico. The title of the review is a shore based liveaboard, because it combines the best features of a shore based trip with the best features of a liveaboard. Off the beaten path 4 hours south of Cancun Airport, the resort is peaceful and secluded. It's the only hotel I've stayed at where I never needed to lock my room. Stars are visible at night, including a clear view of the Milky Way!

This was my second trip here. I was greeted with a "Welcome home" sign on my door, and it really feels like family. I traveled with a group from West End Diving in St Louis, led by Doug and Catherine, the owners. I traveled there separately from Chicago and drove a rental car from Cancun. Although long, the drive is easy. (if you do this, pick flights that arrive earlier in the day). By 24 hours into the trip we were like family!

The main activity is scuba diving. The reefs are a close boat ride from shore (which allows time to return for surface intervals), and everything runs at an unhurried pace. An attentive dive crew loads and unloads your gear from the boat and changes out tanks between dives. Since the resort is isolated, the large barrier reef is in very good condition and there are few divers (we saw no other dive boats). The water is warm, and the dive conditions are suitable for divers of all levels (we had everyone from newly certified beginners to advanced divers).

Unlimited shore diving is also available. There is a large area of sea grass before you reach the reef. The resort provides kayaks, although, being a good swimmer, I found it more convenient to swim to the reef.

The meals are incredible. Catherine puts a huge amount of effort into planning and preparing the menu, and it really shows! Meals are served family style and consist of a wonderful blend of local and American cuisine, healthfully prepared. Dietary needs of members of the group are readily accommodated.

The rooms are in freestanding villas and are very comfortable. There is ample counter space for any gear and belongings, the rooms are quiet and the beds very comfortable. The rooms all have a/c. Reverse osmosis water is produced on site and perfectly safe to drink.

When you are done diving, there are lounges, bar and swimming pool. The resort will also run trips to local attractions.

The service is top notch. As an additional convenience, charges are processed through the dive shop in St Louis, so there are no foreign transaction fees. The resort offers group rates and will put together packages, so it would be a perfect place to take a group from a local dive shop or a meetup group.

I definitely will return. It really feels like home and like family!! If you go, you'll be hooked, too!

Date of stay: August 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Charles B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

The diving was spectacular! I have never seen a more pristine reef! The sea sponges are amazing. The reef was teaming with plant life and a variety of fish...and huge sea turtles! Doug and Catherine made me feel at home and like part of the family. Mark and Ken make every guest feel like you are the only one there. The resort is simply gorgeous. They have carved paradise out of the jungle for those of us who have been fortunate enough to find this jewel in the Yucatan. The accommodations are clean, comfortable and very well maintained. And the food, oh! the food, it was incredible! Everything was fresh and yummy! I'm already planning my next trip...I miss the sound of the ocean lulling me to sleep every night.

Date of stay: February 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Sandy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

After my first two disappointing trips to other spots in Costa Maya, I found Maya Palms a few years ago, and loved it so much that I couldn't wait until the opportunity arrived so that I could go back.
I just returned from the most relaxing, wonderful time at Maya Palms!
There is NO PLACE in the area that is cleaner, more relaxing, more wonderful....with the best staff anyone could ask for. The food was fantastic, the snorkeling some of the best anywhere. I would honestly live there if I could. And I definitely can't wait until I have the chance to go back again!

Date of stay: January 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Stacey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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